Makalidurga Betta – Conquering another mighty peak 28/06/2015

Place: Makalidurga Hills, Doddaballapur, Karnataka

Distance: 64 * 2 = 128 km
Route: Jaynagar -> Hebbal -> Yalahanka -> Makalidurga Hills
Bikes: Bajaj Discover 125 and Bajaj Discover 135
Crew:  Sachin Rathod, Satish Kumar K, and Sagar Sakre(Myself)
Type: Trekking
Ideal for: Friends
Budget: 150/Head

Best of the Beast: Gundamagere lake view from the hill

Brief about the place:
  • Standing as tall as 3664 ft high Makalidurga is one of the best spot for trekkers.
  • There is a small fort on the peak protecting small temple dedicated to goddess Makalidurga.
  • Difficulty level is easy to moderate with trail marked by paint en route
Day before the trek: We were only 4 confirmed list, I went to Satish room located at Jaynagar on so all of us can start together. After dinner we were ready to go to sleep as we wanted to start early to avoid intense sun while trekking. Suddenly Gouda slipped out of the plan. Disappointed we dropped the plan and we watched movie till 1 in the night. That’s when Sachin said what if one guy is not coming we three will go at any cost (yes this costed a lot πŸ˜€ I’ll explain, just read on..). IWe three said yes at the same time, we went to sleep at 2 am.

Sunday Morning: Alarm was irritating us from 4 am, after snoozing it for dozen times we all woke up at 5.30 am, we all got freshed and were ready by 6 am. 

What the F*ck: I stepped out of the room and walked towards my bike that’s when I smelled petrol leaking from my bike, I rushed to see some bastard stolen fuel. Not only he stole fuel he had cut the petrol pipe. It was still dark, no garage would be open until 9 am. Fortunately Satish had a mechanic phone number and it was Ramzan time so he was awake by now. Within 10 minutes he arrived fixed the problem by replaced the broken pipe with other dummy pipe. He was so generous that he didn’t charge anything saying it was a minor problem. Finally we were ready to hit the road by 7 am.

Breakfast near TB Cross: Shri Raghavendra Tiffin Centre

The Ride: Satish was bit scared at beginning as it was his first bike trip but he picked up very quickly and over took us he went beyound our line of sight. After the first flyover at hebbal we have to take a left turn I stopped there but Satish had went straight without realizing the turn, we called him and asked to come back, finally he came back after 30 minutes. Time was wasted for unnecessary reasons like these, it was already 8 am we haven’t crossed Yelahanka also. After Doddaballapur we pulled over for breakfast near TB cross. Its hardly another 15 km to Makalidurga betta, we refilled water bottle as there is no water available throughout the trek. The climate was cloudy which kept the journey peaceful. I had visited this place 3 years back with my college friends back then we had done night trekking I was excited to visit this place again.

Within few minutes we could see the Makalidurga railway station on left, there are two options for parking vehicle
  • Park vehicle near railway station and trek along the track for 3 km to reach the base of the hill. Most of the people coming on train will be taking this way.
  • You can park the vehicle near the base of the hill beside track there is plenty of space and some people would have already parked vehicle here. Though there is no one to petrol it is safer place.
We didn’t wanted to burden ourselves with unnecessary 6 km walking. We chose the second option – parked vehicle at the base of the hill and started trekking at 9.30 am.

First view of Makalidurga Hills
Parking area beside the Railway track at the base of the hill
Railway track opposite to the hills
Selfish Selfie πŸ˜›

The Trek: There were 3 other groups who started trekking in parallel. There is a temple at the base after crossing it you can see hill on the right side, start of trek trail could be confusing for first time visitors because I saw many people trying to take some weird path and ended up wasting time and energy. The route is simple – after crossing the temple walk straight for 300 meters, there is a small pile of rock on the right, on which you find arrow mark indicating to take right turn. If you find this starting point then rest of the trail is simple as there are arrow marks till the peak. At night it could be bit difficult to find the marks but be sure to search till you find it. 

The mighty Makaligurga hill
Arrow marks painted for the directions
Arrow marks painted for the directions
After the first arrow real trekking begins, hill was covered with green shrubs, the climate was cool with sun hiding behind the clouds for most of the time. We took small breaks at many places enjoying surrounding view, feeling the cold breeze and off course – taking photos. View of Gundamagere lake from the hill was incredible. The trek is realtively easy for all age group people except at one point where you have to climb a big rock which could be crossed easily with help of others.

After crossing the difficult part of the trek
Greenery all over the place
Having a peaceful time enjoying the view of the lake
A voice from one of the  group shouted “Hey Sagya, you are here!!” I looked up to see who is calling my name. It was my RVCE friend Rajeev who had come with his colleagues. It is really nice to meet your old friend at a trek like this. We talked for a while after which he rejoined their group.

Rajeev we met on the way
 Finally we could see the fort walls from a distance some more steps to conquer the mighty peak. The trek is relatively small with snail pace we reached peak in two hours. There is a temple at the peak dedicated to Goddess Makalidurga, after seeing the surrounding places we decided to take rest under a tree, it was almost 12 in the afternoon but the climate was cloudy.
Fort is visible, some more steps till the peak
Few more steps till the peak
Entrance gate of the Fort
Fort outer walls
Almost on the peak
Open area on the peak
Temple on the top: Makali Sri Malleshwara

 We met two guys who were also from Bangalore working at IBM one named Sri and other I remember his nick name Scientist, we spent half an hour talking about adventures we did. They offered water and snacks which we shamelessly accepted.

Two Guys we met during the trek,
From left: Scientist, Sri, Sachin and Satish

Eating their food shamelessly

View 1- East Direction: Sunrise viewing point
View 2 – South East Direction
Yet another view from the peak, the highway and train tracks are visible
Railway crossing view from the peak
View 3 – West Direction
View 4 – West Direction: Gundamagere lake view from the peak
Descend: Descend was much easier but had to put each step carefully as not to skid or get crank in the knees. Other two guys had plans to visit the lake but we decided to head back.

While Descending
 After having lunch at nearby hotel we started journey back to Bangalore.

Important Notes:

1. Ways of transport:

  • Train: There are plenty of trains run between Bangalore – Doddaballapur, get down at Makalidurga railway station and trek for 3 kms till the base of the hills.
  • Bus: The bus will stop near the hills from where you can walk to the base of the hills.
  • Private Vehicle: You can either park at Railway station or near the base of the hill as I explained in the post.
2.  Carry your own water and food.
3. You can also do night trekking and camping on the peak, many people do on weekends. Bangalore Trekking Club often arranges event to this place for night trekking you can join them as well.
4. There are arrow marks to help people follow the trail, these marks will be repainted every now and then because last time I visited 3 years back the arrows were there now again I saw the same at good conditions.

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  1. Thank you, No you wont be getting any vehicles as such, you have to walk around 2km to reach base of the hill. You can try your luck by asking for lift from the main road (which is close to station) but then also you have to walk 1 km.

  2. Good information. Its a 50-50 for tomorrow… hope we do get going. I am relying on the parking you have mentioned next the track 3km after the railway station…hope that still holds. πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Prakash, though the route is easy there are couple of spots where it's difficult to cross. I suggest you to look for some other place with steps to help the elder women trek. Check Shivagange, mandaragiri, dd hills.

  4. Hi I would recommend you to visit nandi hills instead which is much better in that case, other than that it's a fine place. Oh by the way you commented on wrong post πŸ˜›

  5. I am a female and want to go on my first bike trip and first trek as well – Alone! This sounded like a great one to start with.. do you suggest going for it? Does phone have network enough to use google maps? Thank you for the detailed description, sounds exciting to go!

  6. Hi jagadish,it's been 3 years I did night trekking there. I checked with forums on fb, fellow travellers said its allowed. But be careful about the difficult stretches and the starting point of the trek.

  7. Nicely described complete trek, Thanks. Actually I'm planning to go there with my wife, so just wanna know, Is it safe for couple and whether girls can trek easily.

  8. Thank you, sorry for the late reply. Yes it's perfectly safe for girls as you will find a pretty good number of visitors. Trail is easy, girls can trek without any issues, I've seen many girls visiting this place

  9. Hi akshara, uphill will take 1.5 hours, downhill 0.5hrs, you can spend an hour or more there. So ideally it should take 4-6 hours. Again it depends on your speed n time consumed in taking photos and all.

  10. Hi sagar i am 49 yr female. No health issues. Last week treked chennagiri (chennarayana durga). Is this tougher?

  11. Hi, first of all hats off for your enthusiasm, it's great to see your energy.
    I haven't done the chennagiri trek so can't relate to that.
    Makalidurga is fairly easy compared to most of the hills around Bangalore. Only at one place it's bit difficult, if you pass that rest of the trail is cake walk. You can definitely do the trek. πŸ™‚

  12. Will it be too foggy like nandi hills even if we go early moning or will it be clear sky always?